Michael Imperioli

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Michael Imperioli
Chris Moltisanti.jpg
Imperioli in 2007
Born (1966-03-26) March 26, 1966 (age 56)
OccupationActor, writer, director, musician
Years active1985–present
Spouse
Victoria Chlebowski
(m. 1996)
Children3

Michael Imperioli (born March 26, 1966)[1] is an American actor, writer, director and musician, best known for his role as Christopher Moltisanti in the HBO crime drama The Sopranos (1999–2007), which earned him the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2004. He gained recognition in the early part of his career for his role as Spider in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas (1990). He has had supporting roles in films such as Jungle Fever (1991), Bad Boys (1995), The Basketball Diaries (1995), Shark Tale (2004) and The Lovely Bones (2009).

Imperioli is a successful screenwriter, co-writing the screenplay for Summer of Sam (1999) with Spike Lee, writing five episodes of The Sopranos, and writing as well as directing the feature film The Hungry Ghosts (2008).

Early life[edit]

Imperioli was born in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the son of Dan Imperioli, a bus driver and amateur actor,[2] and Claire Imperioli, a department store worker and amateur actress.[3] Aged 11, Imperioli and his family moved to Brewster, New York, and in high school started watching Broadway plays.[3] Imperioli planned on attending pre-med at Columbia University, but was accepted at State University of New York at Albany. Shortly before he was to start college, he instead enrolled at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute to study acting.[3]

Career[edit]

Imperioli in 2005

Imperioli has been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and five Emmy Awards for his work as Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos. He won one Emmy for the fifth season of The Sopranos in 2004.[4]

In addition to his role on The Sopranos, Imperioli has appeared in a number of films, including Goodfellas, Jungle Fever, Bad Boys, Malcolm X, The Basketball Diaries, Clockers, Dead Presidents, Girl 6, My Baby's Daddy, Lean on Me, I Shot Andy Warhol, Last Man Standing, Shark Tale, High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story, and Summer of Sam, which he also co-wrote and co-produced. He also wrote five episodes for The Sopranos.[5]

Imperioli served as artistic director of Studio Dante,[6] an Off-Broadway theater he formed with his wife. He is an active member of The Jazz Foundation of America and co-hosted their May 2009 annual benefit concert, "A Great Night in Harlem", at the Apollo Theater, which celebrated the foundation's 20th anniversary.[7] He was a guest on the "San Giuseppe" episode of Mario Batali's Food Network television show Molto Mario. In 2010, Imperioli signed on to play the lead in the ABC television show Detroit 1-8-7.[8] Working with the writer Gabriele Tinti, he wrote the text "Pride" for Tinti's book New York Shots, and participated in a reading of The Way of the Cross at the Queens Museum of Art in 2011.

Imperioli won the Tournament of Stars competition on the cooking show Chopped in 2014, sending $50,000 to his designated charity the Pureland Project, an organization which builds and maintains schools in rural Tibet. In 2016, he guest starred as the angel Uriel on the Fox show Lucifer.[9]

On March 13, 2019, Imperioli was cast in the lead role of Rick Sellitto in the NBC drama series Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector.[10] Imperioli co-hosts a podcast with Steve Schirripa titled Talking Sopranos, which began on April 6, 2020. The two provide inside info as they follow The Sopranos series episode by episode.[11][12] By September 2020, the podcast had reached over five million downloads.[13]

On September 17, 2020, Imperioli and Schirripa signed a deal with HarperCollins book imprint William Morrow and Company to write an oral history of the show;[13] the book titled Woke Up This Morning: The Definitive Oral History of The Sopranos was released on November 2, 2021.[14] In July 2020, he hosted a show on NTS Radio called 632 ELYSIAN FIELDS, which was inspired by A Streetcar Named Desire.[15] In September 2020, Imperioli provided narration for The Whistleblower, a podcast about the 2007 NBA betting scandal.[16]

Imperioli is the guitarist and vocalist for the band Zopa.[17] In 2020, Zopa released their debut album entitled La Dolce Vita.[18]

Imperioli had a narrator cameo in the 2021 Sopranos prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark.[19]

In January 2022, Imperioli was cast in a lead role in the second season of the dark comedy series The White Lotus at HBO.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Imperioli married Victoria Chlebowski in 1996. They have a home in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and in Santa Barbara, California, and have three children. He and his family are avid practitioners of Tae Kwon Do.[21] In 2008, Imperioli became a Buddhist.[22]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Alexa Acid Head
Lean on Me George Gets thrown out of Eastside HS along with 300 other students; he is not seen or mentioned thereafter[23]
1990 Goodfellas Spider
Jacob's Ladder Doctor Uncredited
1991 Jungle Fever James Tucci
1992 Fathers & Sons Johnny
Malcolm X Reporter at Fire Bombing
1993 The Night We Never Met Dry Cleaning Customer #1
Joey Breaker Larry Metz
Household Saints Leonard Villanova
1994 Scenes from the New World Billy
Touch Base Bennie
Hand Gun Benny
Men Lie
Amateur Doorman at Club
Post Cards from America The Hustler
1995 The Addiction Missionary
Trouble Ellis Short film
Bad Boys Jojo
The Basketball Diaries Bobby
Clockers Detective 'Jo-Jo'
Flirt Michael
Dead Presidents D'ambrosio
Sweet Nothing Angelo
1996 Girls Town Anthony
Blixa Bargeld Stole My Cowboy Boots Johnny
Girl 6 Scary Caller #30
I Shot Andy Warhol Ondine
Trees Lounge George
Last Man Standing Giorgio Carmonte
1997 River Made to Drown In Allen Hayden
The Deli Matty
Office Killer Daniel Birch
Under the Bridge
1998 Too Tired to Die Fabrizio
1999 On the Run Albert DeSantis
Summer of Sam Midnight Also writer and executive producer
2000 Auto Motives Stud
2002 Love in the Time of Money Will
2003 High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story Stu Ungar
2004 My Baby's Daddy Dominic
Shark Tale Frankie Voice
2007 The Inner Life of Martin Frost Jim Fortunato
The Lovebirds Vincent
2008 Stóra Planið Alexander
2009 Hungry Ghosts Director and writer
Nominated—International Film Festival Rotterdam - Tiger Award
The Lovely Bones Detective Len Fenerman
2010 Love & Distrust Stud
2011 Stuck Between Stations David
2013 The Call Alan Denado
Oldboy Chucky
2014 Foreclosure Bill Landopolous
The Scribbler Moss
Cantinflas Michael Todd[24][25]
2015 The Wannabe Alphonse
2018 Cabaret Maxime Bennie Gazza
2019 The Last Full Measure Jay Ford
Primal Paul Freed
2020 One Night in Miami Angelo Dundee Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2021 The Many Saints of Newark Christopher Moltisanti Voice

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 NYPD Blue Duane Rollins Episode: "Dead and Gone"
1996 Law & Order Johnny Stivers Episode: "Atonement"
Credited as Michael Imperiola
1997 New York Undercover Miles Gordon Episode: "The Last Hurrah"
Firehouse Lt. O'Connell Television movie
1998 Witness to the Mob Louie Milito Television movie
1999–2007 The Sopranos Christopher Moltisanti 79 episodes; also wrote 5 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2004)
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1999, 2007)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2002, 2004)
Nominated—Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series (2008)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2001, 2003, 2006-2007)
Nominated—PRISM Award for Best Performance in a Drama Series (2003)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2000-2002, 2004, 2006)
2002 Disappearing Acts Vinney Television movie
2004 The Five People You Meet in Heaven Captain Television movie
2005–2006 Law & Order Nick Falco 5 episodes
2006 The Simpsons Dante, Jr. (voice) Episode: "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer"
2007 Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day Charley "Chick" Benetto Television movie
2008–2009 Life on Mars Detective Ray Carling 17 episodes
2010 Mercy Harold Pindus Episode: "We're All Adults"
The Secret Life of the American Teenager Dr. Wattabi Episode: "The Sound of Silence"
2010–2011 Detroit 1-8-7 Detective Louis "Lou" Fitch 18 episodes
2012 Girls Powell Goldman Episode: "Leave Me Alone"
The Godfather Legacy Narrator Voice
Television documentary
40 Unknown Pilot
2013 The Office Sensei Billy Episode: "Livin' the Dream"
2014 Californication Rick Rath 11 episodes
Rake Alberto Rinaldi Episode: "Bigamist"
Chopped Himself 2 episodes
2015–2016 Mad Dogs Lex 10 episodes
2015 Saint Francis Francis Quinlan Pilot
2015–2018 Hawaii Five-0 Odell Martin 4 episodes
2016–2017 Lucifer Uriel 2 episodes
2016, 2021 Blue Bloods Robert Lewis 3 episodes
2017 Dice Himself Episode: "Fingerless"
2018 Alex, Inc. Eddie 10 episodes
Escape at Dannemora Andrew Cuomo Episode: "Part 7"
2019 Watchmen Video Testimonial Man Uncredited
Episode: "Little Fear of Lightning"
2019–2020 Project Blue Book Edward Rizzuto 3 episodes
2020 Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector Rick Sellitto 10 episodes
2022 The White Lotus Dominic Di Grasso Season 2
2022 This Fool Minister Leonard Payne Season 1

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
1999 Screen Actors Guild Awards Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series The Sopranos Won
2000 Screen Actors Guild Awards Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2001 Primetime Emmy Awards Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2002 Golden Globe Awards Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2003 Primetime Emmy Awards Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
PRISM Awards PRISM Award for Best Performance in a Drama Series Nominated
2004 Primetime Emmy Awards Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Won
Golden Globe Awards Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2006 Primetime Emmy Awards Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2007 Screen Actors Guild Awards Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2008 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2009 International Film Festival Rotterdam International Film Festival Rotterdam - Tiger Award The Hungry Ghosts Nominated
2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture One Night in Miami Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Today in History By The Associated Press, March 26, 2021
  2. ^ "Michael Imperioli Biography (1966?-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "'Sopranos' Star Michael Imperioli Was on His Way to Pre-Med When Acting Intervened". wsj.com. November 2, 2021.
  4. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (September 20, 2004). "HBO Is Big Winner at Emmy Awards". The New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  5. ^ Collins, Simon (May 26, 2019). "Sopranos star Michael Imperioli breaks code of silence on the mafia hit that rewrote TV's rules". The West Australian. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  6. ^ Buckley, Cara; Thomas J. Lueck (September 5, 2007). "Pipe Bomb Shatters the Night Outside a Theater Owned by a 'Sopranos' Actor". The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  7. ^ Jazz, All About. "All About Jazz". Archived from the original on January 17, 2013.
  8. ^ "Michael Imperioli Nabs Lead in ABC Drama Pilot". TVGuide.com. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  9. ^ Prudom, Laura (August 8, 2016). "'Lucifer' Adds Michael Imperioli as Angel Uriel for Season 2, 'Gotham' Hopes to Tackle Harley Quinn". Variety. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (March 13, 2019). "Michael Imperioli To Star In 'Lincoln', NBC Pilot Based On 'The Bone Collector' Books". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  11. ^ "'Talking Sopranos' Podcast Launching In April With Series Stars Michael Imperioli & Steve Schirripa". deadline.com. February 28, 2020.
  12. ^ "Talking Sopranos". Apple Inc. April 6, 2020. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  13. ^ a b "'Talking Sopranos' Duo Michael Imperioli And Steve Schirripa Score Book Deal With William Morrow". deadline.com. September 17, 2020.
  14. ^ "'Sopranos' actors pen definitive look at HBO show: 'You're getting it from two guys who were there'". usatoday.com. November 2, 2021.
  15. ^ Radio, N. T. S. "Michael Imperioli 8th July 2020". NTS Radio. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  16. ^ Ho, Rodney; Journal-Constitution, The Atlanta. "'Whistleblower' podcast digs into NBA referee scandal: fixing games, conspiracy and the Mafia". ajc. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  17. ^ "Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti from 'The Sopranos') Released an Interesting, Genre-Defying New Album with His Band, Zopa (Listen)". rockcellarmagazine. August 11, 2020.
  18. ^ Pearis, Bill (June 23, 2021). "Michael Imperioli's band Zopa playing Mercury Lounge". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  19. ^ "'The Many Saints of Newark' Led Michael Imperioli to Depressing Realization About His 'Sopranos' Character". hollywoodreporter.com. October 4, 2021.
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 5, 2022). "'The White Lotus': Michael Imperioli To Star In Second Installment Of HBO Series". Deadline Hollywood.
  21. ^ DOBNIK, VERENA (January 28, 2007). "Imperioli: Tae Kwon Do Changed His Life" – via washingtonpost.com.
  22. ^ "Michael Imperioli talks the mob, menopause, and his film 'The M Word'". ew.com. April 30, 2014.
  23. ^ Leonard Maltin's TV, Movie, & Video Guide
  24. ^ "Cantinflas". September 18, 2014 – via IMDb.
  25. ^ México, El Universal, Compañia Periodística Nacional. "Explotará en Californication".

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